The abounding iniquity of that wicked world, ver. 1 - 5. and
ver. 11, 12.
God's just resentment of that iniquity, and his holy resolution to
punish it, ver. 6, 7.
The special favour of God to his servant Noah.
In the character given of him, ver. 8,9,10.
In the communication of God's purpose to him, ver. 13 - 17.
In the directions he gave him to make an ark for his own safety,
ver. 14, 15, 16.
In the employing of him for the preservation of the rest of the
creatures, ver. 18, 19, 20, 21.
Lastly, Noah's obedience to the instructions given him, ver. 22.
1: Men began to multiply upon the face of the earth - This was the
effect of the blessing, (Ge 1:28), and yet man's corruption so abused
this blessing, that it turned into a curse.
2: The sons of God - Those who were called by the name of the Lord,
and called upon that name, married the daughters of men - Those that were
profane, and strangers to God. The posterity of Seth did not keep to
themselves as they ought, but intermingled with the race of Cain: they
took them wives of all that they chose - They chose only by the eye:
They saw that they were fair - Which was all they looked at.
3: My spirit shall not always strive with man - The spirit then
strove by Noah's preaching, (1Pe 3:19), and by inward checks, but 'twas
in vain with the most of men; therefore saith God, he shall not always
strive, for that he also is flesh - Incurably corrupt and sensual, so
that 'tis labour lost to strive with him. He also, that is, all, one
as well as another; they are all sunk into the mire of flesh. Yet his
days shall be an hundred and twenty years - So long will I defer the
judgment they deserve, and give them space to prevent it by their repentance
and reformation. Justice said, cut them down; but mercy interceded, Lord,
let them alone this year also; and so far mercy prevailed, that a
reprieve was obtained for six score years.
4: There were giants, and men of renown - They carried all before
them, 1. With their great bulk, as the sons of Anak, (Nu 13:33),
and, 2. With their great name, as the king of Assyria,(Isa 37:11). Thus armed, they daringly insulted the rights of all
their neighbours, and trampled upon all that is just and sacred.
5: And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth
- Abundance of sin was committed in all places, by all sorts of people:
and those sins in their own nature most gross and heinous, and provoking:
and committed daringly, with a defiance of heaven. And that every
imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually - A sad
sight, and very offensive to God's holy eye. This was the bitter root,
the corrupt spring: all the violence and oppression, all the luxury and
wantonness that was in the world, proceeded from the corruption of nature;
lust conceives them, (Jas 1:15), see (Mt 15:19).
The heart was evil, deceitful and desperately wicked; the
principles were corrupt, and the habits and dispositions evil. The
thoughts of the heart were so. Thought is sometimes taken for the
settled judgment, and that was biased and misled; sometimes for the
workings of the fancy, and those were always either vain or vile. The
imagination of the thought of the heart was so, that is, their designs
and devices were wicked. They did not do evil only through carelessness,
but deliberately and designedly, contriving how to do mischief. 'Twas
bad indeed, for it was only evil, continually evil, and every
imagination was so. There was no good to be found among them, no
not at any time: the stream of sin was full and strong, and constant;
and God saw it. Here is God's resentment of man's wickedness. He
did not see it as an unconcerned spectator, but as one injured and affronted
by it; he saw it as a tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a
rebellious and disobedient child, which not only angers but grieves
him, and makes him wish he had been written childless.
6: And it repented the Lord that he had made man upon the earth
- That he had made a creature of such noble powers, and had put him on
this earth, which he built and furnished on purpose to be a comfortable
habitation for him; and it grieved him at his heart - These are
expressions after the manner of men, and must be understood so as not
to reflect upon God's immutability or felicity. It doth not speak any
passion or uneasiness in God, nothing can create disturbance to the
eternal mind; but it speaks his just and holy displeasure against sin
and sinners: neither doth it speak any change of God's mind; for with
him there is no variableness; but it speaks a change of his way.
When God had made man upright, he rested and was refreshed,(Ex 31:17). and his way towards him was such as shewed him well pleased
with the work of his own hands; but now man was apostatized, he could not
do otherwise, but shew himself displeased; so that the change was in man,
not in God.
7: I will destroy man - The original word is very significant.
I will wipe off man from off the earth; as dirt is wiped off from a
place which should be clean, and thrown to the dunghill. Or, I will
blot out man from the earth, as those lines are blotted out of a book
which displease the author, or as the name of a citizen is blotted out of
the rolls of the freemen when he is disfranchised. Both man and beast
the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air - These were made for man,
and therefore must be destroyed with man. It repenteth me that I have
made them - For the end of their creation also was frustrated: they were
made that man might serve and honour God with them and therefore were
destroyed, because he had served his lusts with them, and made them subject
8: But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord - This vindicates
God's justice in his displeasure against the world, and shews that he had
examined the character of every person in it, before he pronounced it
universally corrupt; for there being one good man he smiled upon him.
9: Noah was a just man - Justified before God by faith in the
promised seed; for he was an heir of the righteousness which is by
faith, (Heb 11:7).
He was sanctified, and had right principles and dispositions implanted
in him: and he was righteous in his conversation, one that made
conscience of rendering to all their due, to God his due, and to men
theirs. And he walked with God as Enoch had done before him:
in his generation, even in that corrupt degenerate age. It is easy to
be religious when religion is in fashion; but it is an evidence of strong
faith to swim against the stream, and to appear for God, when no one else
appears for him: so Noah did, and it is upon record to his immortal
11: The earth also was corrupt before God - That is, in the matters
of God's worship; either they had other gods before him, or worshipped
him by images: or, they were corrupt and wicked in despite of God. The
earth was also filled with violence, and injustice towards men;
there was no order nor regular government, no man was safe in the possession
of that which he had the most clear right to, there was nothing but murders,
rapes and rapines.
12: God looked upon the earth - And was himself an eye - witness of the
corruption that was in it, for all flesh had corrupted his way - It was
not some particular nations that were thus wicked, but the whole world so;
there was none good beside Noah.
13: The end of all flesh is come before me; I will destroy them - The
ruin of this wicked world is decreed; it is come, that is, it will come
surely, and come quickly.
14: I will destroy them with the earth, but make thee an ark - I
will take care to preserve thee alive. This ark was like the hulk of a
ship, fitted not to sail upon the waters, but to float waiting for their
fall. God could have secured Noah, by the ministration of angels
without putting him to any care or pains, but he chose to employ him in
making that which was to be the means of his preservation, both for the
trial of his faith and obedience, and to teach us that none shall be saved
by Christ, but those only that work out their salvation; we cannot
do it without God, and he will not without us: both the providence of God
and the grace of God crown the endeavours of the obedient and diligent.
God gave him particular instructions concerning this building.
It must be made of Gopher - wood; Noah, doubtless, knew what sort
of wood that was, though now we do not.
He must make it three stories
high within: and,
He must divide it into cabins with partitions, places
fitted for the several sorts of creatures, so as to lose no room.
dimensions are given him, that he might make it proportionable, and might
have room enough in it to answer the intention, and no more.
pitch it within and without: without, to shed off the rain, and to
prevent the water from soaking in; within, to take away the ill smell of
the beasts when kept close.
He must make a little window towards the top
to let in light.
He must make a door in the side of it by which to go
in and out.
17: And behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the
earth - I that am infinite in power, and therefore can do it; infinite
in justice, and therefore will do it.
18: But with thee will I establish my covenant -
[1.] The covenant of Providence, that the course of nature shall be
continued to the end of time, not withstanding the interruption which
the flood would give to it: this promise was immediately made to Noah
and his sons, (Ge 9:8), &c. they were as trustees for all this part of
the creation, and a great honour was thereby put upon him and his. God
would be to him a God, and that out of his seed God would take to himself